Habib 'Ali al-Jifri's Response on Rawafidh

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The question was put forward to Shaykh Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri by SASA-Cairo President Shaykh Zakaria Matiyane regarding the recent claims by certain quarters in Cape Town claiming that the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) condemned Mu'awiyah (r.a.), and that scholars such as Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) also mentioned a few things regarding Mu’awiyah (r.a.).  What is the authentic view of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah?

Habib ‘Ali replied, “The preponderant view among the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah is to refrain from defaming his character and to state Allah is be Pleased with him.  Another, minority, opinion existed among Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah.  However, the relied upon position among them is to abstain from speaking ill of all the companions.  In addition, we acknowledge that companions had different statuses and that one cannot compare Mu'awiyah (r.a.) to Abu Bakr (r.a.) and ‘Umar (r.a.) by way of example.  Therefore, Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah would only consider those who criticised Abu Bakr (r.a.) and ‘Umar as rawafidh and not those who criticised companions lower in rank than them.

The final word is that we do not accept criticism launched against the companions - neither senior nor junior.  We say regarding all of them, ‘Allah is Pleased with them and they were pleased with Allah.’  This is the ‘aqidah of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah.  We keep silent regarding that which transpired between the companions and establish for them the reward of ijtihad.

Lastly, do not debate around these issues; this is important.  Some fitan are extinguished by silence, while discussing or debating them only make things worse.  They are pleased with Allah.”


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